Captain Jot Owens Fishing Report

September 2016-Report/Forecast

Published on August 31st, 2016 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

September is the start to Fall; one of the best times of the year to go fishing around Wrightsville Beach. When cold fronts start to make their way across Southeast North Carolina, fishing really picks up. Most of the fish we catch around Wrightsville in the summer are still biting during September but they are biting better. Nice cool temps and light morning breezes; make for some great fishing weather. Another great thing about September is much less boat traffic!

When the water starts to cool down the Redfishing will heat up. Look for the Reds to be in the creeks, along the ICW docks and oyster rocks. Carolina rigs with live bait or fresh cut bait is a good bet to catch a Redfish. If you want to go the artificial root, try Berkley Gulp three inch in color sugar spice glow or molting rigged on a 1/8oz or 1/4oz jig head should get’em to bite. Early mornings or late afternoons the top water bite should be good; cast MirrOlure Top Dog Jr’s and Top Pup’s for the best bite. Look for the top-water reds to be along marsh grass lines and shallow oyster rocks. You can also use rattling or popping corks in the same areas you use top-water plugs, just rig them with eight to fourteen inches of forty pound fluorocarbon, 1/0 hook L42 Eagle Claw and a live figure mullet.

The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. You never know when you might hook one of these hard fighting fish. When I fish for bigger Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use larger carolina rigs with TroKar 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks and eighty pound Berkley Big game mono leaders. Don’t forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hook so they will do their job. One tip I can give you when fishing for Bull Reds, is don’t use to light of tackle for these bigger Reds. If you fight them to long, there is a chance you can tire them out to much and kill them. Try a med/heavy rod and a reel with at least thirty pound mono or braid, this will help you get the fish in quicker; with a better chance of a good release. Check to see if the Red has a yellow tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Big Reds out there.

The Flounder fishing has been good this season so far, with this said it looks like September should be a great mouth for Flounder too. We look for Flounder in the fall around the inlets, in the creeks; up and down the ICW. We also will find some very nice Flounder just offshore of Wrightsville/Topsail on live/hard bottom as well artificial reefs. Mud minnows and small finger mullet will be the best live baits for Flounder in September. Rigging the live bait on carolina rigs with EC 042 1/0 hooks is a good choice of rigs for Flounder. If you prefer to use artificial baits; scented and none scented grubs will do the job. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in six inch with colors chart pepper neon and pearl white seem to work the best for me. Rig these on jig heads with longer hook shanks with will help with a better hookup ratio.

Spanish mackerel fishing can be great during September. The Spanish run the biggest all year during the fall. You can cast or troll for them and the fly fishing can be great as well. The Spanish will be around the inlets and near shore artificial reefs. Look for jumping Spanish and diving birds; that is where you will find the Spanish mackerel. Casting small spoons or jigs on light spinning tackle will put some Spanish in the boat for you. If you would rather troll, give a Blue Water Candy Daisy Chain a try on top and a #1 planner down deep with a Clark spoon. If you would like to give fly fishing a try, use a five to eight weight set up with floating line with a small minnow pattern fly or epoxy minnow pattern; my favorite!

Shark fishing will be good until late September. We see lots of different kinds of Sharks in September; Black tip, black nose, Sandbar, Hammerhead and Tiger. Best baits for the near shore sharks are fresh/live Bluefish, Mullet and Menhaden. We use spinning reels for Shark fishing with 300+ yards of thirty and fifty pound Spider wire Ultra-cast braid. Rigging the baits; eight feet of 80 pound mono leader; some will wind on to the reel. Connected to the 80 pound mono is a fifty pound swivel, then Two to three foot of #9 SS wire and an TroKar 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook. (I push down the barb for easy release) If you prefer Fly fishing, I like Striped bass flies in Menhaden patterns with 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes. We use ten to twelve weight set ups; have lots of extra flies with you!

Good September fishing to you, don’t forget to take a kid fishing and thanks for reading!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff

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Wrightsville Beach, NC Fishing Forcast June 2016

Published on June 7th, 2016 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

It’s June, summer is really here and the fishing is starting to come to its summer peak! June is one of my favorite fishing months around Wrightsville and can be the best one! By June the bait has shown up in good numbers and the game fish are looking for an easy snack! Here are some of my “goto” target fish for June around Wrightsville Beach.

Everybody loves to catch and eat Flounder; they are really getting their act together by June. You can find Flounder just about anywhere when June rolls in, just knowing where to look to find the keepers is the key! In the Wrightsville area, I look for keeper Flounder around deeper channel drop-offs; in waters of five to fifth-teen feet deep. The local inlets, Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason’s and Rich’s inlets are always a good place to find some keeper size Flounders. Last but certainly not least, are the artificial reefs, ledges and hard/live bottoms from one to ten miles off the beach, these areas always hold very nice Flounder in June.

Once you have found some Flounder you need to know how to catch’em. If you want to go the artificial root, try bigger baits; this will greatly help you catch more keeper size Flounder. I prefer Berkley Gulp five and six inch Jerkshad in colors pearl white, chart pepper neon and new penny. Another great Flounder bait is the Berkley Gulp 4 inch shrimp pattern, this bait is great for cast up and down inshore drop-offs in creek channels. I rig these baits on jig heads in sizes 1/8oz to 5/8oz for inshore and 1/2oz to 3/4oz for ocean fishing; in colors red, gray and white.

If you would like to go with live bait for the Flounders, try mud minnows, small mullets or small menhaden as live bait. Rig these live baits on Carolina rigs with an Eagle Claw L42 1/0 hook, eight to fourteen inches of thirty to forty pound fluorocarbon as leader. I prefer egg sinkers as my weight, the secret to how much weight you use is ‘as much as you need to stay on the bottom but as least as you can get away with.’ You need to be on the bottom for Flounder but going lighter will always get you more bites!

Redfish are in there summer trend by June and the trick to summer Reds is go early before that sun is high and hot in the sky. Topwater lures and rattling corks in the shallow waters earlier mornings and afternoons will produce Redfish. I prefer MirrOlure Top dog Jr’s and Top Pup’s for great ‘walk the dog action’. Working grubs like Berkley Gulp later in the day in deeper waters will also produce Reds for you. Slow rolling spinner baits with a Berkley Gulp Ripple Mullet (four inch) in the color root-beer gold/chart tail as the trailer has produced me some nice Reds when the water heats up. Sometimes it can be just like colder mouths, slow down your presentation a little when the water gets hot. Give the Redfish a little more time to catch up with your bait when the water temp is over eighty degrees.

Last but never least; Cobia fishing is in full swing by early June and should be good until early July; it’s already been a great year! I look for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the water being clear most of the time in June it should easier to see those brown logs in the water. I like to throw big jigs, swim baits and live bait to the Cobia. Color really does not seem to matter, but (go bright); Blue Water Candy makes a great Cobia jig but I always add a Berkley Gulp six inch grub! When I’m not sight casting for them, we are fishing around inlets, shoals and near shore artificial reefs. I float fish, bottom fish and kite fish in these areas with live menhaden, blues and mullet as bait. You can chum if you like, but the sharks and Rays will come in numbers!

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Clash Spinning reels 2500, 3000 & 4000 sizes for the Redfish and Flounder. Cobia: PENN SpinFisher V & Clash 6000 & 7000 and PENN 20LW Fathom casting reels. Rods PENN Battalion and Regiment 6’6” & 7’ medium and med/heavy for the Redfish and Flounder. Cobia Rods: PENN Rampage or Carnage II Jigging series 50 to 100 class casting and spinning. Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound and Berkley Pro Spec Chrome mono in twenty and thirty pound for the Cobia; that is great line!!!

I hope summer fishing is good to you and thanks for reading!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Reels Elite Pro Staff

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